Tuesday September 21, 2021

Ireland to add 12-15 age group in COVID-19 vaccination program

Published : 03 Aug 2021, 02:14

  DF News Desk

A customer is checked at the entrance of a pub before getting indoor services in Dublin, Ireland, on July 26, 2021. File Photo: Xinhua.

Ireland is preparing to include 12- to 15-year-olds in its COVID-19 vaccination campaign from August, a senior public health official said here on Monday, reported Xinhua.

An estimated 280,000 people are in this age group in Ireland, and they will be administered the first vaccine dose starting this month, said Paul Reid, chief executive of the Health Service Executive (HSE), a state agency responsible for the vaccine rollout in Ireland.

The HSE is currently working to finalize arrangements to handle consent issues that need to be addressed for those aged under 18 in addition to other preparatory work, he told the national radio and television broadcaster RTE.

"Our intention is to work through this really quickly and efficiently through August," he said, adding that 2.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered by the HSE in the past six weeks compared with one million doses in the first 12 weeks of this year.

The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been recommended for use for 12- to 15-year-olds, according to Karina Butler, chair of Ireland's National Immunisation Advisory Committee.

On Saturday, Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin tweeted that 72.4 percent of adults in Ireland had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Since Friday, the HSE has opened several walk-in vaccination clinics across Ireland to encourage more people to get the shot. Anyone aged 16 and over in the country can get a first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at these walk-in clinics without appointment.